A Web First study released by Health Affairs found that 28 percent of US adults reported having at least two chronic health conditions, a higher percentage than in any other country (see exhibit).

Poor Adult Health

Authors Robin Osborn, David Squires, Michelle Doty, Dana Sarnak, and Eric Schneider found that American respondents reported poor health compared to their counterparts in other countries. Americans also were more likely to say that they worried about having enough money to buy nutritious meals (15 percent) and to pay for housing (16 percent).

The survey, part of an annual series conducted by The Commonwealth Fund since 1998, examined the health and health care experiences of adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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A Population Health Approach

“Overall, the survey findings point to the need to take a population health orientation that identifies all of the contributors to poor health, including socioeconomic disadvantages that could affect health and well-being,” the authors concluded. “As countries grapple with health disparities, rising health care costs, and additional stresses to their health systems, reallocating funds between health and social services may be a useful strategy.”

This study, which was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, will appear in the journal’s December issue. For more on global health policy, check out the Health Affairs hub.

Tags: Web First